by Anura Guruge
The pope, Benedict XVI (#266), set the stage for this in November 4, 2009, with his seminal Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus – which provides for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering full communion with the Catholic Church. [June 29, 2011 post.] A year ago, on January 16, 2011 to be precise, three former Anglican bishops, in the UK, were ordained into the UK Personal Ordinariate, viz. Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, in the presence of their wives. Then over the summer there were various reports that an Episcopal Church in Maryland (headed by a married priest) and a ‘Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church’ were seeking entry into the Roman Catholic Church via Anglicanorum coetibus.
It is now official, as of the start of this year, that the pope has appointed a married American ex-Episcopalian Bishop, with three children, Rev. Jeffrey Steenson, to head up the first U.S. ordinariate — based in Texas. Here is the BBC article.
We should not forget, as Lord Bertone (possibly the next pope) famously pointed out in April 2010, that it had been possible, for a very long time, for there to be married priests in the Catholic Church.